1973 in literature
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In poetry: 1970 1971 1972 -1973- 1974 1975 1976
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The year 1973 in literature involved several significant events and the writing of many notable books.
- March 6 – The Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, founded as the Montenegrin Society for Science and Arts (Crnogorsko društvo za nauku i umjetnost) in Podgorica, elects its first members.
- May 14 – New orthography for the Greenlandic language is introduced.
- June 21 – Virago Press, established in the U.K. by Carmen Callil primarily to publish classic books by women writers, holds its first board meeting.
- July 26 – Peter Shaffer's drama Equus is premiered in London by the National Theatre company at The Old Vic.
- September 16 – Chilean poet and playwright Víctor Jara, having been detained four days earlier as a political prisoner in Estadio Chile and tortured during the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, is shot and killed. His last poem, known as "Estadio Chile", is preserved in memories and scraps of paper retained by fellow detainees.
- September 25 – The funeral of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda becomes a focus for protests against the new government of Augusto Pinochet.
- December 3 – French police of the Direction de la surveillance du territoire, disguised as plumbers, are caught attempting to install a spy microphone in the directorial office of the satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné in Paris.
- c. December 27 – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel The Gulag Archipelago (Архипелаг ГУЛАГ, written 1958–1968) is first published, by the Paris publisher Éditions du Seuil from a typescript smuggled out of the Soviet Union.
- André Brink's novel Kennis van die aand ("Looking on Darkness") becomes the first Afrikaans book banned by the government of South Africa.
- Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita (Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is first published complete in Moscow (in the form left at the author's death in 1940), by Khudozhestvennaya Literatura.
- Frank Herbert becomes director-photographer of the television show, The Tillers.
- Robert B. Parker starts the Boston-based Spenser book series with his debut crime novel The Godwulf Manuscript.
- Martin Amis – The Rachel Papers
- J.G. Ballard – Crash
- Ernest Becker – The Denial of Death
- Thomas Berger – Regiment of Women
- Joseph Payne Brennan – Stories of Darkness and Dread
- Rita Mae Brown – Rubyfruit Jungle
- John Brunner – The Stone That Never Came Down
- Ramsey Campbell – Demons by Daylight
- Jerome Charyn – Tar Baby
- Agatha Christie – Postern of Fate
- Arthur C. Clarke – Rendezvous with Rama
- Basil Copper – From Evil's Pillow
- Julio Cortázar – Libro de Manuel (A manual for Manuel)
- L. Sprague de Camp – The Fallible Fiend
- L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp, editors – Tales Beyond Time
- August Derleth – The Chronicles of Solar Pons
- Michael Ende – Momo
- Paul E. Erdman – The Billion Dollar Sure Thing
- J. G. Farrell – The Siege of Krishnapur
- Leon Forrest – There Is A Tree More Ancient Than Eden
- William Goldman – The Princess Bride
- Graham Greene – The Honorary Consul
- Elisabeth Harvor – Women and Children 11 stories (revised as Our Lady of All Distances, 1991)
- James Jones – A Touch of Danger
- Anna Kavan – Who Are You?
- Brian Killick – The Heralds
- Dean R. Koontz – Demon Seed
- Jerzy Kosinski – The Devil Tree
- Milan Kundera – Life Is Elsewhere (Život je jinde, first published in French as La vie est ailleurs)
- Robert Ludlum – The Matlock Paper
- John D. MacDonald – The Turquoise Lament
- Cormac McCarthy – Child of God
- Ruth Manning-Sanders – A Book of Ogres and Trolls
- Robert Marasco – Burnt Offerings
- Toni Morrison – Sula
- Iris Murdoch – The Black Prince
- Tim O'Brien – If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home
- Robert B. Parker – The Godwulf Manuscript
- Mervyn Peake – The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb (posthumously published)
- Robert M. Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
- Anthony Powell – Temporary Kings
- Thomas Pynchon – Gravity's Rainbow
- Irwin Shaw – Evening in Byzantium
- Doris Buchanan Smith – A Taste of Blackberries
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – The Gulag Archipelago (Архипелаг ГУЛАГ)
- Rex Stout – Please Pass the Guilt
- Jacqueline Susann – Once Is Not Enough
- Hunter S. Thompson – Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
- Jack Vance – The Anome
- Mario Vargas Llosa - Captain Pantoja and the Special Service (Pantaleón y las visitadoras)
- Gore Vidal – Burr
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. – Breakfast of Champions
- Patrick White – The Eye of the Storm
- Rudy Wiebe – Temptations of Big Bear
- Venedikt Yerofeyev – Moscow-Petushki (Moscow to the end of the line; first commercial publication, in Israel)
- Roger Zelazny
Main article: 1973 in poetry
- Allan W. Eckert – The Court-Martial of Daniel Boone
- Antonia Fraser – Cromwell, our Chief of Men
- Peter Maas – Serpico
- New York Bible Society International – New Testament, New International Version (translated into modern American English)
- Tim O'Brien – If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Send Me Home
- Bill Owens – Suburbia
- John Pearson – James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007
- Flora Rheta Schreiber – Sybil
- E. F. Schumacher – Small Is Beautiful
- Binod Bihari Verma – Maithili Karna Kayasthak Panjik Sarvekshan (in Maithili)
- Maureen and Tony Wheeler – Across Asia on the Cheap
- February 21 – Jacob M. Appel, American short story writer and bioethicist
- June 2 – David Bezmozgis, Latvian-Canadian writer
- August 13 – Kamila Shamsie, Pakistan-born novelist
- August 18 – Victoria Coren Mitchell, English writer and presenter
- January 15 – Neil M. Gunn, Scottish novelist, dramatist and critic (born 1891)
- February 22 – Elizabeth Bowen, Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer (born 1899)
- March 6 – Pearl S. Buck, American novelist (born 1892)
- March 18 – Roland Dorgelès, French novelist and memoirist (born 1885)
- March 26 – Sir Noël Coward, English dramatist and humorist (born 1899)
- April 9 – Warren Lewis, Irish author (born 1895)
- April 28 – Jacques Maritain, French philosopher (born 1882)
- May 21 – Carlo Emilio Gadda, Italian poet and linguist (born 1893)
- June 4 – Arna Bontemps, American poet (born 1902)
- June 9 – John Creasey, English crime writer (born 1908)
- June 30 – Nancy Mitford, English novelist and biographer (born 1904)
- July 29 – Henri Charrière, French writer and criminal (born 1906)
- September 2 – J. R. R. Tolkien, English fantasy writer and scholar (born 1892)
- September 23 – Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet (born 1904)
- September 29 – W. H. Auden, English poet (born 1907)
- October 6 – Margaret Wilson, American novelist (born 1882)
- October 28 – Sergio Tofano, Italian dramatist (born 1886)
- November 13 – B. S. Johnson, English novelist (born 1993)
- December 7 – Benn Levy, English playwright and politician (born 1900)
- December 9 – Anthony Gilbert, English crime writer (born 1899)
- See 1973 Governor General's Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists for those awards.
- Prix Goncourt: Jacques Chessex, L'Ogre
- Prix Médicis French: Tony Duvert, Paysage de fantaisie
- Prix Médicis International: Milan Kundera, Life Is Elsewhere
- Booker Prize: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Penelope Lively, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe
- Cholmondeley Award: Patric Dickinson, Philip Larkin
- Eric Gregory Award: John Beynon, Ian Caws, James Fenton, Keith Harris, David Howarth, Philip Pacey
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great
- Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry: John Heath-Stubbs
- American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal in Poetry, John Crowe Ransom
- Hugo Award: Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves
- Nebula Award: Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Jean Craighead George, Julie of the Wolves
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Jason Miller, That Championship Season
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Eudora Welty, The Optimist's Daughter
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Maxine Kumin, Up Country
- Miles Franklin Award: No award presented
- Premio Nadal: José García Blázquez, El rito
- Viareggio Prize: Achille Campanile, Manuale di conversazione